Cost of scuba gear

How much is scuba diving gear?

How much is scuba diving gear? I am about to find out. In this post I share my shopping trip to buy my own dive equipment and the associated costs of scuba diving gear.

Cost of scuba diving gear?

I have done my open water course, gotten my scuba diving certification and I am a certified open water diver. I have been hiring my scuba diving gear from the dive centers, but I really want the consistency of owning my own equipment The good news is, it is my birthday, and I am planning on celebrating with all things scuba.  I have decided 55 is the new 35 when you dive. I am reclaiming my youth as I become a streamlined, well-equipped woman diver.  I am travelling to Brisbane where I intend to buy my own scuba gear. My birthday is the perfect excuse to become a scuba woman that shops. 

The cost of scuba

I felt out of my depth when I did my scuba diving course, and I feel the same way now. Luckily for me I have my son Joshua as a shopping buddy. Aside from making me climb volcanos, Josh loves to spend my money. With Josh along I am a bit nervous about how much scuba diving is going to cost me. On my arrival we head straight to the dive shop. My birthday is in winter and so my recent open water dives have been cold to say the least. I have spent many dive trips with two wetsuits on, wearing gloves and a beanie on the boat to try and get warm. A warm wetsuit if foremost in my mind.

Woman looking at a diving vest
Woman holding white and black scuba fins
Woman trying on dive vest EMPTY NEST DIVER
The cost of scuba shopping

Mask snorkel fins

For anyone wary about scuba diving costs start with the basics. A good fitting mask, snorkel, and fins.  A diver can add to their dive gear as they continue their open water diving. It is a bit of a joke amongst my dive buddies, I now have a collection of masks and snorkels as it has taken a lot of trial and error for me to find something I like. I have finally landed on the Cressi Action GoPro mask.  It was a reasonable $90.00. Cressi also have a nice mask & snorkel set. Like all things shopping, prices vary. A good diving mask will range between $80 and $160.00. Snorkels; I have tried them all and lost most of them. My favourite was a little fold away travel snorkel that I lost on my first wreck dive. My advice, keep it simple unless you are planning on doing a lot of snorkelling, allow between $25 and $70.

Womens Scuba Wetsuit

Disclaimer: No shop attendants were injured during this shopping expedition, severely traumatized maybe, but not physically harmed. 

To most people buying a wetsuit sounds simple, but when you’re almost 55 pretending to be 35 it is a major life challenge. Prattling on about being cold I am shown a 7ml thermal wetsuit.  In hindsight, not the suit for me.  Given detailed instructions on how to put it on was the first red flag.  Entering a very small change room, I am thinking how hard can it be? Twenty minutes later I am hot, sweaty, and exhausted, the wetsuit is stuck at my thighs and not moving.  Forty minutes later I have managed to get it up to my waist. I surrender any remnants of pride, shuffling out of the cubicle, and sheepishly asking for help.

Mares Wetsuits hanging up in a shop EMPTY NEST DIVERMares Wetsuits

Mares Wetsuit

I refuse to contemplate what is seen. Josh & the shop attendant are tugging and pulling at the wetsuit, with a lot of effort they get it past my bottom as I desperately cling to my knickers. Placing me on a chair they continue to grapple with a leg each. Finally, the wetsuit is off.  The shop assistant scuttles away never to be seen again.  I hope a stiff drink after work helps him process his trauma.  Joshua still owes me from the volcano climb, so I am only paying for a few of his therapy sessions.  A deep breath, embarrassment factor high; I still need a wetsuit.  Josh swears his Mares Flexa 5.4.3 wetsuit keeps him warm. I can’t be any more embarrassed so I may as well twin with my son. I buy the Mares She Dives Flexa 5.4.3 from sheer exhaustion.   As it turns out, not a bad choice.

Mares wetsuit twinning

The thickness of the wetsuit will make a difference to the price. My Mares is a good all-rounder at 5mm and was in the vicinity of $500AUD. I believe allow that as your average, you may get a 3mm for $300AUD and 7mm for $700AUD. Of course it depends on the climate and your open water diving conditions, you may get away with a little shorty for $100.  My advice, spend the extra and be warm and comfortable. I use the 5ml for both summer and winter diving though, I do layer in winter.

Cressi R1 BCD

By now Josh and I pretty well have run of the shop. It is very easy to spend a lot of money on a buoyancy compensator. I am prepared to, as a compensator is an essential part of your dive equipment and as a female diver I want to be comfortable. I have tried Joshua’s back plate style compensator. It is ideal for travel but as a woman diver I feel a little exposed in it, and I don’t like the way it pushes me forward. I prefer a jacket style compensator. With the freedom to try everything on unhindered by shop attendants I discover expensive doesn’t mean more comfortable. I buy the Cressi R1 jacket style compensator. The Cressi R1 is just over $550AUD. It is not as light as their Travelight BCD but it is a close second. It has integrated weights which I have grown to love. I like that it is made of tough material & is sand resistant – ideal for Great Keppel Island. Most importantly as a scuba woman I find it comfortable. My sister has recently bought a Scubapro Hydros, which retail for over $2300AUD. It is a premium BCD and she is very happy with herself. Think about how you will be using your BCD and how much travel you will be doing. How is your trim, do you need a back inflate to help keep you horizontal? Do you want the stability of floating vertically on the waters surface in a jacket style?

Beuchat VRT 90 Regulator

I am hitting my stride as I purchase my Beuchat VRT 90 regulator set. I chose midrange again at $600AUD and can’t fault it.   A great little regulator set at an equally great price. It has a flow control device and is easy to breathe through at depth.

Oceanic Manta Ray Fins

My Oceanic Manta Ray fins were a reasonable investment at $300AUD plus $50AUD for boots. I bought a big fin as I wanted power as I am not a stronger swimmer. I think maybe the Manta Rays are a bit big for me, they are literally as long as my leg.  I have had severe issues with my legs cramping badly. I had to work hard to build up my calf muscles through exercise. I love that they are easy to get on with a spring strap and large finger hole, especially as I am a bit awkward. As an open water scuba diver I like to be seen from a distance and being white, my Oceanic Manta Ray fins stand out.

Lady holding white and green scuba fins EMPTY NEST DIVER
Scuba fins in shop
Scuba fins on display EMPTY NEST DIVER

Suunto Zoop Novo Computer

My final purchase was my dive computer which was a bit daunting. As a 55 year old pretending to be 35 years old I am slightly short sighted so I went for the Suunto Zoop Novo at $470AUD. To be honest it was the only dive computer I could read without glasses. A very basic computer, with conservative algorithms. The Suunto Soop Novo has a nice big face, mine is bright yellow, so again it stands out.  Not a discreet watch if you are travelling. It is an entry level computer, but there is a lot of buttons to push.  About the only thing I change are the settings when I dive nitrox and I have to look up the tutorials every time.  The tuturials are easy to follow but hard to find if you are on a dive boat.

Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer EMPTY NEST DIVERSuunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer

The cost of scuba

The cost of scuba was high in embarrassment but in reality I didn’t find the scuba gear overly expensive. Scuba divers can spend as much as they want really. The dive gear I purchased is good quality, it should last me for years and more importantly it does the job. I am a little mismatched as I bought diving equipment I liked and found comfortable, not by brand. I didn’t purchase a tank as they are normally included in the price of your dive.

Dive gear for a scuba woman

I am happy with my dive kit.  I’ve got value for money and I believe I should get a lot of wear out of the quality items I have purchased. Including a dive bag I spent just over $2600AUD.

It’s never too late – TAKE THE DIVE WITH TANYA

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